During my first trip I decided to take a snack break whilst sat on a grass bank overlooking a very shallow glide of water. Whilst eating I was watching a very small trout rising to take something pretty much invisible off the surface. When I say I was watching a trout, actually I wasn’t – I knew it was there from the regular splashy rises but I absolutely could not see the fish despite it only being in three or four inches of water and less than a rod length from where I was sat. From my slightly elevated position on the bank I could see every pebble on the bottom, even with the tea-stained water colour that is typical for the Dee. After finishing my snack bar I decided I’d try and catch the fish, and sure enough it took the Klink first cast. Admiring this four or five inch fish in my hand for a moment before the release, a thought struck me about just how perfect their camouflage is for the environment they’re in. The deep brown across its back blending into black spots, each with a chrome halo, which in turn give way for red spots as the flank transitions to golden yellow before the white under-belly is a colour scheme that sounds like it should stick out like a sore thumb, but it doesn’t – somehow it works perfectly.
As I walked back to the car I was still pondering the colouration of this Dee trout. It then dawned on me that I don’t think I’ve ever seen a trout in the river! Sure, I know where they are when they’re rising, but I can’t recall ever watching a trout in that river. You could suggest that perhaps I’m not the best fish spotter, however I don’t seem to have any issues on other rivers – even in the Elwy close to my home, which shares a similar colour ‘tinge’ to the Dee, the small trout can be spotted with relative ease especially if you stand and watch for a minute or two. As such, I think there’s something special about a Dee brown trout – they’ve blended so perfectly into their background that they’re invisible.
Hopefully I’ll get out again soon to not spot some fish. All the best,